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This Week in Geek 10/01

by Matt Baum (10/02/08).
Cover of Supergirl #34
Cover of Vixen: Return of the Lion #1
Cover of Batman #680

This Week in Geek is a weekly blog about new comics written by Worthpoint Comic book Worthologist Matt Baum. Every Wednesday Matt takes a look at the week’s new comics from a collector’s point-of-view and discusses which books may be hard to find in the near future and why. Make sure to click on the hot links for previews and more information on the comics, characters, story lines and creators discussed here

For those of you who are growing more and more concerned with the dire state of the US economy and the apocalyptic reports coming from Capitol Hill, you’ll be glad to know that this week is a very light one for new comics. While channel surfing late Monday night I found myself stopping at each 24-hour news channel to listen to the doom-and-gloom financial reports as spouted by the various talking heads and heard a quote from Kieth Oberman that made me smile. While talking to an MSNBC financial analyst Oberman shouted, “What are we supposed to do sink all our money into vintage comic books?”.

Although I don’t recommend rolling your 401k into a Fantastic Four run, Oberman does have a point. As the stock market plummets and hungry bears begin to prowl wall street so too do the prices of collectible comics.. Now is the time to invest in that X-Men #1 you’ve always wanted or that first-appearance of Swamp Thing you’ve been eying in your local comic shop; if you have the cash that is. If you’re poor, like me, then you’ve got some time before this financial crisis trickles down to your level so enjoy it while you can. For more on the current comic book bear market look for my other blog, The Comic Book Speculator later this week.

Quick market watch note; Deadpool variants of issues #1 and #2 are selling like crazy. Issue #2 hit the stands last Wednesday and already the Ed Mcguiness 1/20 variant cover is selling for $20.00 on-line. Issue #1 is selling for close to $15.00 but both look to be going up in price for the near future. In other news, DC comics announced that Legion of Superheroes will be canceled with issue #50 so look for orders on the remaining issues to be slashed drastically. Also, Sony pictures announced they have purchased the rights to Mark Millar’s War Heroes for a feature film, which I subsequently predicted in my blog two weeks ago. Score one for me!

Now let’s look at this weeks new comics. The first wave of October comics won’t actually ship until next week making the this Wednesday a fairly light new comic week. Here’s a look at my pile for this Wednesday October 1st.

Batman #680 – The RIP storyline is almost over and I’m still totally lost. Oh Grant Morrison, why can’t I quit you?
House of Mystery #6 – Quickly becoming my favorite Vertigo book.
Jonah Hex # 36
Justice League America#25
Nightwing #149
Red Mass for Mars – Highbrow Sci-Fi from Jonathan Hickman
Cable #7 – Ships with a truly disturbing Richard Corben variant cover.
Eternals #5
Punisher: War Journal #24 – Secret Invasion tie-in.
Top 10 vol 2, #1 – Alan Moore’s super-cops in a super-powered city are back, but without Alan Moore.

A light week indeed. I theorize that much like the mysterious sudden drop in crude oil prices, the comics giants are choosing not to kick America while they’re down for fear we’ll find something better to spend ever diminishing paychecks on. It’s also a very tough week for speculator picks with out any major first issue launches, unless you count DC’s Terror Titans which I could honestly care less about. Regardless of the circumstances, we must have speculator picks:

Batman #680; DC; Written by Grant Morrison; Art by Tony Daniel; Covers by Alex Ross and Tony Daniel; $2.99.
Why it’s hot: DC billed this issue as the one where something big happens and, after reading it, I guess something big happened but *Spoiler Alert* it wasn’t the death of Batman. Depending on what happens in the next issue, #681, this one could be hot. We’ll just have to wait an see.

Why it’ll go fast: Maybe… Batman RIP just keeps getting weirder and, perhaps, more disconnected. If you’ve been reading all the tie-ins to the storyline running through the other Bat-books you may be wondering what they have to do with each other. The answer is very little. While Morrison’s story has been entertaining I have to wonder if the other Bat-family writers were told anything beyond the title and basic premise of the storyline. I imagine the memo that hit Detective Comics writer Paul Dini’s desk read something like:

Attn: Bat Writers

Morrison penning the death of Batman/Bruce Wayne, sort of, maybe.
Will get back to you with details as we have them, maybe.

Sincerely;

Dan Didio, Grand Pubah of DC Comics

P.S.; Please write a tie-in story.

Now, if it all comes together in the next and final issue of Batman RIP then we’ll all be talking about Morrison’s genius and scrambling to find these back issues. That is if Batman dies, which isn’t a solid bet at this time regardless of the story-line’s title.

Vixen: Return of the Lion #1; DC; Written by G Willow Wilson; Art by Cafu; Cover by Josh Middelton; $2.99

Why it’s hot: If you’ve been reading Justice League America there is a good chance that you’ve been trying to figure out what has been going on with Vixen’s powers since issue #1 of this latest volume. Well get ready for answers. This mini-series explores the changes Vixen has seen recently and promises to answer why she has lost her connection to the animal world. Air writer G. Willow Wilson gives us a look into DC’s hottest Afro-American super heroine in this four-issue mini-series with gorgeous covers by Josh Middelton.

Why it’ll go fast: Justice League spinoffs are historically famous for two things; being too expensive and not selling. I’d expect most retailers to order low on Vixen as she’s never been an A-list hero. However, the covers and art are beautiful and retailers should never underestimate a busty black woman when it comes to selling issues. Yes, I’m interested in the story. Of course she’s hot, but I swear, I read these books for the stories and Playboy for the articles.

Supergirl #34; Written by Sterling Gates; Art by Jamal Igle and Kieth Champagne; Cover by Josh Middelton and Fernando Pasarin; $2.99.

Why it’s hot: Yet another new team is taking the creative reigns on Supergirl; nothing new there for the a book that has had seen 33 issues and 4 creative teams. So why be excited. The new team is trying something that hasn’t been done in Supergirl history; tyeing the comic into current Superman continuity. Geoff Johns (writer, Action Comics) and James Robinson (writer, Superman) are currently writing some of the best Superman comics in recent memory and have both featured Supergirl recently. My only question; why not start with a new #1?

Why it’ll go fast: Supergirl has never been a big seller, the current series has almost been canceled twice now and had so many creative shake-ups that retailers might not have even noticed the new team on this issue. If fans pick up Supergirl #34 at even half the level of Action or Superman this comic will disappear by Thursday. With another amazing Middelton cover and fantastic new creative team I’m calling Supergirl #34 the surprise sell-out of the week.

Until next week, keep the questions coming, feel free to post to the forum topics in the comic books community and tell me what you’re reading/collecting. Also, check out my other blog The Comic Speculator, where I discuss classic yet still affordable back-issue comics. If you have any questions about these books or anything else in the comic book world feel free to contact me or post your question in the Comic Book community forum. Want to know what your comics are worth? Join Worthpoint for free and post your titles in the “Ask A Question” section. Remember to post the title, issue number and cover price.

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